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New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Amelia, Astro Boy, The Vampire’s Assistant, Saw VI

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Halloween is a mere week away. This weekend brings with it the one movie all other purveyors of horror product fear. Every October it seems that anyone with a horror movie to shop avoids October; more specifically, they avoid lat October. The Saw franchise has proven to be quite profitable over the years, even when the movies are not so good. It is almost an institution. Anyway, there is some competition in the family and teen sector, but there are no other bloody movies to give it much of a challenge, especially with Zombieland having been around for a few weeks already.

Amelia. (2009, 111 minutes, PG, biopic) I cannot say that I feel overly excited about this movie. Still, the story of Amelia Earhart would seem to be a perfect fit for the big screen. However, as pretty as the trailer images seem, I do not feel much of a pull. I am still planning on seeing it and hope that is a good movie, but it will be one I enter with not much in the way of expectations. The film was directed by Mira Nair who also made the excellent The Namesake. The cast includes Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, and Cherry Jones.

Astro Boy. (2009, 94 minutes, PG, animated adventure) This computer animated film is based on one of the earliest anime series, produced back in the 1960s. It is the story of a robot created by a scientist named Tenma. The boy robot is imbued with great powers and he seeks to be accepted and learn what it is like to be human. He also is charged with using his powers to save his creator, friends, and his city. The story reads a little like Pinocchio. I am looking forward to seeing this one, despite the odd-sounding voice work from Nicolas Cage. Other cast members include Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Bill Nighy, and Nathan Lane.

The Vampire’s Assistant. (2009, 94 minutes, PG-13, fantasy) Based on the a book from the Cirque du Freak series, this looks like it could be fun. It also looks like a reaction to the Twilight craze. It centers on a teenage boy who is generally good, but when he crosses paths with a traveling freak show things begin to change. He is turned into a vampire and inadvertently becomes a central figure in a war between the vampires and their deadly rivals. The cast includes Chris Massoglia, Josh Hutcherson, John C. Reilly, Salma Hayek, and Ray Stevensen.

Saw VI. (2009, 90 minutes, R, horror) Does it really matter what this movie is about? I cannot imagine the series will get any better; this is the sixth movie, after all. That said, while I am far from the franchise’s biggest fan, I will continue to see the films as they come while hoping that something better will come along. With Jigsaw dead, we will only see the mastermind in flashbacks. Of course, they could take it another direction and introduce the undead (why not?). I guess that won’t happen. We do get to see Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) emerge as Jigsaw’s heir. Ahh, who am I kidding? I just want to see some blood and not be bored.

Also opening this week, but not near me:

  • Antichrist
  • Motherhood
  • Ong Bak 2
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D

Box Office Predictions

Will Saw VI take the box office this weekend? I think there is a good chance. This could be an interesting weekend. Astro Boy could pull good numbers with families. Paranormal Activity expands to nearly 2000 screens and I really hope that it does well. Amelia is in limited release and should pull decent numbers. In the end, it will be a horror dominated weekend.

Here is how I think it could play out.

Rank Title Box Office
1 Saw VI $27 million
2 Paranormal Activity $22 million
3 Where the Wild Things Are $18 million
4 Astro Boy $13 million
5 Law Abiding Citizen $11 million
6 The Vampire’s Assistant $10 million
7 Couples Retreat $9.5 million
8 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs $5 million
9 The Stepfather (2009) $4.5 million
10 Zombieland $3.5 million
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